Just Keep Boatin’: Prevent Common Boat Damage

Boat on repair in dry dock

Boats incur more damage despite being more infrequently used compared to other vehicles. A combination of natural events, as well as inexperience, can result in extensive damage to any watercraft. Navigating these safety concerns can be tricky, especially for new operators.

However, most of these issues can be prevented by following simple, preventive measures. Here are some tips to maintain your boat.


While barnacles rarely inflict significant damage on boat hulls, they can severely impact a watercraft’s efficiency. If a fixture of barnacles is large enough, it can cause massive amounts of drag for a boat. The U.S Navy estimates that significant barnacle growth can increase fuel consumption by up to 40%, which translates to $500 million a year in extra fuel costs. Coating your hull with eco-friendly, barnacle repelling paints, as well as regular cleaning, can help prevent barnacle growth.

Weather Damage

From hurricanes to wind storms, severe weather conditions can cause serious boat damage. Even when moored, a boat can still be susceptible to water damage if not covered properly. WALK-WINN Plastic Company suggests that double-sewn, center seam tarp covers largely help in eliminating leaks and rips common with other covers. If the weather is inclement, immediately make your way back to safety and keep your boat anchored and docked.


The most common type of damage to boats is grounding. Accidentally running your boat aground can be caused by any number of things, including inexperience. If serious enough, grounding can cause significant damage to the hull, which may lead to flooding. Avoid grounding by regularly consulting water charts and staying within marked channels. If possible, invest in a depth sounder and always pay attention to it.

Get to know your boat and the waterways you travel in. Keeping your boat in good condition requires regular maintenance and constant learning.